KING BUFFALO - Everywhere is Avalon

28. August 2022

King Buffalo

KING BUFFALO - Überall ist Avalon

With "Regenerator" the psychedelic stoner band King Buffalo from Rochester in New York State concludes their Lockdown trilogy. "'The Burden Of Restlessness', the first part, was very dark and bleak. We didn't want to do anything like that again," explains singer and guitarist Sean McVay in an interview on the sidelines of the Herzberg Festival. Very relaxed and tidy, the frontman of the trio seems, although he has not yet created a setlist a few hours before the show. "We probably won't play anything from 'Regenerator' yet," he merely announces, "but a little bit of everything before that." To that end, he's happy to talk about his band's latest work, "It's different than anything we've recorded before. It's faster, upbeat, we used different sounds. We didn't want it to sound like a typical stoner album, we wanted it to sound rockier. It also wasn't meant to be as strictly produced through and not as loud. It's also more upbeat than anything I've written before - unusual for me."

The album trilogy is a direct result of the Corona pandemic: like most bands, King Buffalo didn't have the opportunity to tour for a long time, so they didn't have much to do, but they had a big rehearsal room with the possibility to record. "We jammed a lot, I took the recordings home, edited here and there, and there was still over four hours of material left. There wasn't a 'story' yet, but the general vibe was there. We came up with the idea of making three albums out of the material. We wanted each one to sound different."

The aforementioned very dark "The Burden Of Restlessness" was followed by the atmospheric-epic "Acheron". Special feature: It was recorded live in one day in a cave system not far from the home of the three musicians, the Howe Caverns in Howes Cave. (This also resulted in a concert film, which is available on Blu-ray and digitally) Although the sonic result is remarkable - the stalactite cave itself makes for a special sound, at times you can even hear the rippling of the water - Sean McVay today remembers the recording conditions rather with slight creepiness: "You're presented with numerous challenges that you hadn't thought of before. We set up our stuff in the most humid environment imaginable. It was constantly around 52 degrees Fahrenheit [about 11 degrees Celsius, note], which isn't exactly warm, but you still break a sweat because of the humidity. The instruments were constantly out of tune, and of course the humidity was not good for our equipment. Also, weird things were happening with the power supply. It was kind of cool, but also pretty crazy."

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